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How to make a felt hat

Updated July 20, 2017

Felt fabric is made from a process of interlocking fibers of wool felt or fur felt in many different directions. Fur felt hats are commonly made with rabbit, beaver and nutria. It takes time and lots of practice to make a felt hat but here are the steps to get started.

Find a hard ball that is just a bit larger than the size of your head. If you're making a felt hat for a small doll don't use a golf ball or rubber ball since the golf ball is too hard and the rubber ball is too squishy.

Practice making a felt hat on a small ball first even if your hat will not be for a doll. If it is for a doll be sure that the hair is on the doll first because that will make a difference in the size of the hat.

Pull the pieces of wool roving long enough to cover around the ball leaving a small opening on one side, which will be needed later to remove the wool from the ball. Wrap roving around the ball starting in the center, alternating directions of fiber after each layer. Cover the ball until it is approximately 2.5 cm (1 inch) thick around.

Wet the wool with the spray bottle of very hot water. Apply a small amount of hand soap to the wool and massage the ball as if making meatballs. Then wet it down again with hot water spray and put it inside nylon stocking to secure.

Put the ball and stocking into a round container with lid and shake vigorously. Check to see if ball is tightly wrapped. If not repeat Step 4, otherwise remove ball from stocking then pull off the round of wool from the small opening. Massage it well to knead fibers together.

Start shaping to make your felt hat. If you're making a beanie hat it won't have a flared rim. If your hat will have a rim begin shaping by pulling and stretching with your fingers to flair the bottom. Use the soap and water process as needed to re- tighten and firm shape.

Trim the rim to the way you want it. Place it on a hard surface to keep it's form. A small bowl could be placed underneath to help keep shape. Rub up and down the opening until it is completely sealed. Apply water and soap to the felt hat around the edge of the rim to flair if needed.

Tip

Add a special flair to your hat by using fur felt.

Things You'll Need

  • Wool roving-dyed
  • Ball
  • Scissors
  • Spray bottle
  • Hot water
  • Hand soap
  • Nylon stocking
  • Round plastic container with lid
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About the Author

Jerry Dowdle sells her artwear at juried fairs and online at TerranJerran.etsy.com. Her work was recently featured in “Go!” magazine of the “Lawrence Journal World” newspaper. For the past 15 years, Dowdle helped create interactive, multimedia programs for an educational publishing company and holds a Bachelor of Science in education from the University of Kansas.